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Glen Canyon National Recreation Area set new visitation record during 2023

325.5 million visits to national parks in 2023, 5.2 million visits at Glen Canyon


Busy Tourism Season in Glen Canyon NRA: backhaul kayaking on the Colorado River upriver from Lees Ferry. NPS File Photo.

Last week, the National Park Service (NPS) announced that 400 national parks reported a total of 325.5 million visits in 2023, an increase of 13 million or four percent over 2022.

At Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (Glen Canyon) 5.2 million visitors set an all-time high record for the park and is one of the most visited among 429 NPS units nationwide. Prior to the pandemic’s effect on tourism, Glen Canyon’s highest visitation was approximately 4.6 million visitors (2017).


“Millions of people each year enjoy the stunning views and wide range of recreational opportunities at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument. While Lake Powell continues to provide significant recreational opportunities, more people are also recognizing the unparalleled land-based and river-based recreation options and cultural and historic resources within our 1.25 million acres” said Michelle Kerns, Superintendent of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Rainbow Bridge National Monument. “Glen Canyon continues to be an economic engine for the region in Utah and Arizona and is especially important to our gateway communities.”



The largest increase to visitation was in the Lees Ferry District, which increased from 1,052,978 visits in 2022 to 2,190,250 visits in 2023. Lees Ferry is situated below the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River. Recreational opportunities in the area include hiking, camping, fishing, camping, motorized boating, rafting and kayaking. Visitation figures and trends guide how the NPS manages parks to ensure the best experience possible for park visitors. The Visitation Statistics Dashboard provides recreational visit statistics for every park in the US for 2023 and also for previous years, dating back to 1979 for some parks. The National Park Service app and Plan like a Park Ranger program are keys to successful experiences for national park visitors.


To learn more about national parks in Utah and Arizona and how the National Park Service works with communities to help preserve local history, conserve the environment, and provide outdoor recreation, go to https://www.nps.gov/state/ut/index.htm and https://www.nps.gov/state/az/index.htm.

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